A £4m funding package to support unpaid carers has been unveiled by the Scottish Government.
The money has been pledged in recognition of the vital role they play in looking after loved ones and the added pressure they may have faced during the Covid pandemic.
The bulk of the cash will be given to local carer centres across Scotland, with £3m set aside to expand their work.
As well as this, £590,000 will help to expand wellbeing support for unpaid carers looking after someone with dementia, while £377,000 will go towards paying for breaks for parents and families looking after disabled children and young people.
Meanwhile, £200,000 will go towards expanding the support given to young carers by Young Scot.
Announcing the funding on Thursday, social care minister Kevin Stewart said: “Unpaid carers play a vital role in society and I know the pandemic has placed many additional pressures on Scotland’s carers.
“The Scottish Government has always been committed to improving carers’ rights and providing them with the support and extra help they deserve.
“The local services and third sector organisations that have been supporting carers during the pandemic have been exceptional. I am pleased to be able to announce this additional funding to allow them to continue their essential work.”
He added: “This support for carers comes on top of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, the first payment made by Social Security Scotland, which increased Carer’s Allowance for eligible Scottish carers by around 13% compared to carers in the rest of the UK.
“In addition to this uplift to Carer’s Allowance, we made extra Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement payments in June 2020 and in December 2021 to support eligible carers.”